High School vs Professional Soccer Field: The Dimensions


High school and professional soccer field comparison

When you’re looking at a high school soccer field, you may wonder how a high school soccer field compares to the size of a professional soccer field. Are they the same size? I have thought this myself and decided to find out. Here’s how the two soccer fields compare.

High school soccer fields can be the same size as a professional soccer field. The length and width requirements at both levels of soccer are similar. However, due to space restrictions, many high school soccer fields are smaller than professional soccer fields.

First, let’s look at the dimensions of a high school soccer field and compare that to the dimensions of a professional soccer field. Then I’ll explain why, despite the guidelines, high school soccer fields often end up being smaller than professional soccer fields.

Dimensions of a High School and Professional Soccer Field

Let’s look at the measurements for both soccer fields.

High School Soccer Field Dimensions

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the governing body for high school soccer in the United States. They provide recommendations about how big a high school field should be.

Helpfully, they provide a detailed guide to all the measurements and dimensions that a high school soccer field should comply with.

A high school soccer field size, as set by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), is between 55 to 80 yards wide and 100 to 120 yards long.

I’ve listed them all in the table below for you to have a look at.

Area of the FieldMeasurements
Length of the field100 – 120 yards
(90 – 110 meters)
Width of the field55 – 80 yards
(50 – 73 meters)
Center circle10 yards (radius)
(9.15 m)
Center spot9 inches
(23 cm)
Goal area depth6 yards
(5.5 m)
Goal area width20 yards
(18.3 m)
Penalty area depth18 yards
(16.5 m)
Penalty area width44 yards
(40.3 m)
Goal width8 yards
(7.32 m)
Goal-line to penalty spot12 yards
(11 m)
Measurements and dimensions of a high school soccer field [source]

With all these measurements, it’s worth remembering that they are all taken from outside to outside of the lines.

From this table, you can see how big a high school soccer field is.

High school soccer field dimensions are 55 to 80 yards (50 – 73 meters) wide and 100 to 120 yards (90 – 110 meters) long. The goal area is 6×20 yards (5.5 x 18.3 meters) and the penalty area is 18×44 yards (16.5 x 40.3 meters).

These dimensions are a significant step up from youth soccer field dimensions, where the maximum field size is 80 yards x 55 yards (73m x 50m).

Dimensions of a Professional Soccer Field

Professional soccer field dimensions
Professional Soccer Field dimensions

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is the governing body for professional soccer rules worldwide. The IFAB includes FIFA, and they are the organization that sets the requirements for how big a professional soccer field should be.

In the table below, you can see the required dimensions for a professional soccer field.

Area of the FieldMeasurements
Length of the field100 – 130 yards
(90-120 meters)
Width of the field50 – 100 yards
(45–90 meters)
Center circle10 yards (radius)
(9.15 m)
Center spot9 inches
(23 cm)
Goal area depth6 yards
(5.5 m)
Goal area width20 yards
(18.3 m)
Penalty area depth18 yards
(16.5 m)
Penalty area width44 yards
(40.3 m)
Goal width8 yards
(7.32 m)
Goal-line to penalty spot12 yards
(11 m)
Measurements and dimensions of a professional soccer field [source]

The size of a professional soccer field must be between 100-130 yards (90-120 meters) long by 50-100 yards (45–90 meters) wide.

These measurements apply to all professional soccer fields, but it’s worth noting that international soccer fields have slightly different requirements.

At international level, the length of a soccer field must be between 110 yards (100 meters) and 120 yards (110 meters). The field’s width must be between 70 yards (64 meters) and 80 yards (75 meters).

For more information on High School soccer rules, check out my article – High School Soccer Rules: Everything you need to know.

Dimensions of the Two Fields Side by Side

So let’s now look at these measurements side by side.

Area of the fieldHigh school Soccer Field Dimensions Professional Soccer Field Dimensions
Length of the field100 – 120 yards
(90 – 110 meters)
100 – 130 yards
(90-120 meters)
Width of the field55 – 80 yards
(50 – 73 meters)
50 – 100 yards
(45–90 meters)
Center circle10 yards (radius)
(9.15 m)
10 yards (radius)
(9.15 m)
Center spot9 inches
(23 cm)
9 inches
(23 cm)
Goal area depth6 yards
(5.5 m)
6 yards
(5.5 m)
Goal area width20 yards
(18.3 m)
20 yards
(18.3 m)
Penalty area depth18 yards
(16.5 m)
18 yards
(16.5 m)
Penalty area width44 yards
(40.3 m)
44 yards
(40.3 m)
Goal width8 yards
(7.32 m)
8 yards
(7.32 m)
Goal-line to penalty spot12 yards
(11 m)
12 yards
(11 m)
Measurements and dimensions of a high school soccer field Vs a professional soccer field [source]

When we compare the recommended measurements and dimensions of a high school soccer field next to the required dimensions of a professional soccer field, you can see that the only difference is a slight variation in the field’s length and width.

When I first found this out, I have to admit; I was surprised. I was sure a high school soccer field was smaller than a professional one.

After looking into this more, I realized why I was surprised.

Let me show you the reasons.

Why a High School Soccer Field Is Smaller Than a Professional Soccer Field

width of mls soccer fields
Width of five MLS soccer fields

As I’ve just mentioned, and you will have noticed, the requirements at both high school and professional levels are relatively similar. If the measurements aren’t exactly the same, then they have some overlap.

This overlap in requirements means that there is the possibility that both a high school soccer field and a professional soccer field could be the same size.

However, in reality, this is rarely the case.

Most high school soccer fields are smaller than most professional soccer fields. The reason for this is that many high schools don’t have a purpose-built soccer stadium or field. 

When most high schools are being built, there is rarely a dedicated area for a soccer field. Out of all the high school sports, soccer is not often a priority.

Because many high schools lack a specific soccer field, many high schools across the US use their football field as a soccer field.

Using the football field as a soccer field significantly limits the size of the soccer field.

The reason for this is that a football field has set dimensions that it must comply with. These measurements include a length of 100 yards(91.5m) between the goalposts and a width of 160 feet/ 53 1⁄3 yards (48.8 m). [source]

A temporary soccer field must fit into this area which gives it a much narrower field than a professional soccer field.

The soccer field guidelines from the NFHS are sympathetic to this scenario. They have made their guidance for high school soccer fields a “recommendation” rather than a “requirement.”

They even include a recommendation specific to a soccer field being on a football field. They recommend that the soccer goal must be two yards in front of the football goalposts.

Another limiting factor that high school soccer fields may have to deal with is a running track around the outside of the field.

Similar to football fields, running tracks have specific measurements and dimensions they must comply with.

Using a soccer field that is within the boundaries of a running track dramatically affects the width of a soccer field and often brings it below the recommended guidelines.

Professional soccer fields don’t have these issues. Professional soccer fields are almost always within purpose-built soccer stadiums. Rather than being a temporary set-up, the soccer field is the priority in a soccer stadium. Everything else revolves around that.

To find out more about not only how a soccer field fits onto a football field, but also how a soccer and football field compare, have a look at this article I wrote explaining this in more detail.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can see that the dimensions of a high school soccer field and a professional soccer field are actually very similar in theory. But in reality, a high school soccer field is often significantly smaller than a professional soccer field.

If you’re interested in finding out when a high school soccer season starts you can find the answer in this article I wrote.

If you want to know what high school soccer tryouts are like and how to effectively prepare, check out this article I wrote.

And to understand the field dimensions for 9v9 soccer, check out my article – 9v9 Soccer Field Size and Dimensions.

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Ben

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Sign up to the yoursoccerhome.com newsletter here or check out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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